Rio de Janeiro will exhibit Yoruba Art soon

Yoruba Art- disclosure: MASP

The Oduduwa Heritage House receives from the month of August an exhibition of millenary pieces of the Yoruba culture. The art show will be recognized as the largest collection of Yoruba art outside of Africa.

The initiative emerged through a campaign led by the King of Ifé of Nigeria – Adeyeye Babatunde Ogun Husi with the objective of integrating the Yoruba people scattered around the world. The King is considered the highest traditional and religious authority of the Yoruba people – who originally inhabited the Kingdom of Ketu and the Oyo Empire, present in Benin and Nigeria. The campaign extended to Brazil from the moment that Oni de Ifé (Yoruba language) received a message from Brazil where the monument of Zumbi de Palmares coincidently showed strong similarities with the features of the King himself.

The strong admiration and resemblance to the Yoruba people resulted in a visit by the King of Ifé to Brazil last year in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. This visit established a partnership between Brazil and Nigeria for the creation of the Oduduwa Heritage House. Soon after the visit, the King decided to send to Brazil the original pieces of the ancient mill of the sacred city.

The King of Ifé and Nilcemar Nogueira of the Municipal Secretary of Culture, sign a partnership Photo: Disclosure/Municipal Secretary of Culture – SMC

The importance of Brazil receiving the largest collection of Yoruba art outside Africa consists of the fact that the country acquired a high number of Yoruba peoples during the colonial era, unaware of their historical heritage. The goal of this exhibition is to reinforce the ties between the Afro-descendants of Brazil and the Yoruba culture of Nigeria with the purpose of cultural, scientific and spiritual exchange.

The King of Ifé and leader of the Yoruba people in Nigeria participates in an interreligious event in Cristo Redentor. Photo: Tomaz Silva, Agencia Brasil.

The Oduduwa Heritage House was founded by Bàbálórìsà Adesiná Síkírù Sàlámì, Babá King. He comes from an important royal lineage in Nigeria, is a Yoruba priest and has lived in Brazil for decades. The residence is a place for exhibitions, Yoruba language classes, study and theater centers.